Loving Gaze thanks the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) for the generous donation of the GeneXpert test device platform to St Kizito Clinic, in Lekki.
The diagnosis of active TB can be quite complex since many of its symptoms are similar to those of other common diseases. Nigeria has one of the lowest detection rates in the world with only 16% of cases being notified to the National TB, Buruli ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP). The use of the rapid Xpert MTB/Rif® test has expanded substantially since 2010 when WHO first recommended its use. The test simultaneously detects TB and resistance to rifampicin; the most important TB medicine. Diagnosis can be made within 2 hours and the test is now recommended by WHO as the initial diagnostic test in all persons with signs and symptoms of TB. It purifies, concentrates, amplifies (by rapid, real-time PCR) and identifies targeted nucleic acid sequences in the TB genome, and provides results from unprocessed sputum samples in less than 2 hours, with minimal hands-on technical time. To know more click here
What is TB?
“TB” is short for a disease called tuberculosis. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. TB germs are passed through the air when someone who is sick with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, laughs, sings, or sneezes. Anyone near the sick person with TB disease can breathe TB germs into their lungs.
TB germs can live in your body without making you sick. This is called latent TB infection. This means you have only inactive (sleeping). TB germs in your body. The inactive germs cannot be passed on to anyone else. However, if these germs wake up or become active in your body and multiply, you will get sick with TB disease.
When TB germs are active (multiplying in your body), this is called TB disease. These germs usually attack the lungs. They can also attack other parts of the body, such as, the kidneys, brain, or spine. TB disease will make you sick. People with TB disease may spread the germs to people they spend time with every day.
How do I know if I have been infected with TB germs?
If you have been around someone who has TB disease, you should go to your doctor or your local clinic for tests.
What should I do if I have TB? Protect your family and friends: take all your TB drugs!
If you have latent TB infection, you may need medicine to prevent getting TB disease later. One or more drugs are used to treat latent TB infection. It is important that you take your medicine exactly as your doctor or health care worker tells you.
TB disease can also be treated by taking medicine. If you have TB disease, it is very important that you finish the medicine, and take the drugs exactly as you are told. If you stop taking the drugs too soon, you can become sick again. If you do not take the drugs correctly, the germs that are still alive may become difficult to treat with those drugs. If you have TB disease, it takes six months and possibly as long as one year to kill all the TB germs.
People who are more likely to get sick from TB disease include:
- those with HIV infection (the virus that causes AIDS);
- those who have been recently infected with TB (in the last two years);
- babies and young children;
- elderly people;
- those who were not treated correctly for TB in the past;
- and those with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, certain types of cancer, and being underweight.
These people have conditions that make the body weaker, so it is difficult for them to fight TB germs
Protect your child against Tuberculosis!
Babies and children less than 5 years old can be protected against tuberculosis with the BCG vaccine.
St Kizito Clinic’s TB Fight Key Numbers (2007-2016)
St Kizito Clinic, as a TB DOT Centre (DOT stands for directly observed treatment short course) has been at the frontline of the fight against TB. Being able to physically observe patients as they take the TB medications guarantees treatment compliance and this approach has proven to be efficient and effective in ensuring that the patients do not interrupt their treatment thereby curbing MDRTB and MDX-RTB emergence. Between 2007 and 2016 St Kizito Clinic reached out:
• Indirect beneficiaries: screening, education and health support: 527,060 (total attendance to clinic)
• TB related visits for clinical care, diagnosis, treatment and follow up: 36,402
• New confirmed Tb infections treated: 1,217
• Up to 1,040 patients have successfully completed anti-tuberculosis therapy